If you were to create the perfect point guard, you’d want a floor general with court savvy and a high basketball IQ, who’s a tremendous and willing passer that also plays suffocating defense.
Sadly, Cavs guard Collin Sexton possesses exactly none of those traits.
But if you want somebody who can score at will and serve as the perfect catalyst for a jaw-dropping upset against the highly-anticipated debut of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and that one bearded nigga who skips training camp to go kick it with Lil Baby, then the 2018 first-round pick is your guy.
On Wednesday night, the third-year guard dropped a career-high 42 points and spearheaded a feat that I don’t think I’ve ever seen in my entire life: a double-overtime blowout.
It was supposed to be the world premiere of the NBA’s next dynasty, with Kyrie finally returning to the Nets after a confusing seven-game sabbatical, but instead, we were treated to the Cavs deploying exotic defenses, Jarrett Allen exacting revenge against the team that disposed of him, and Sexton doing shit like this...
...until the final buzzer sounded and Cleveland’s 147-135 coup de grâce was complete. But it wasn’t just what Sexton did, it was how he did it that made it so uncouth and gruesome.
He buried trey after trey in Kyrie’s face. He knocked down a game-tying three-pointer with only 1.2 seconds left to push the Cavs to a second overtime. He dropped 15 fucking points in that second overtime.
It was almost as if he had no idea that the Cavs were supposed to get blown out last night.
“He played out of his mind,” teammate Cedi Osman told reporters after the game. “It was amazing.”
So how did Brooklyn’s holy trinity look? Like three superstars who are gonna need ample time to learn how to play together.
Between the three of them, they combined for 96 points. But there were disjointed moments where each of them regressed into playing iso ball, as if they didn’t have two other world-beaters on the court with them. The Nets defense also remains suspect as hell, and Jarret Allen swatting four of their shots only seemed to rub salt in the wound.
“We seemed a little lost at times,” coach Steve Nash admitted. “We were a little flat and disjointed at times.”
Also concerning was how, after a highly-competitive four quarters of basketball, the Nets just completely gassed out in the second overtime. Clearly, age and absence was a factor—with Durant and Harden both over 30 and Kyrie playing himself back into shape after missing seven games—but considering their talent level, there’s no way in hell the game should’ve gone to overtime in the first place.
The Nets are far from a finished product, as the Big 3 have yet to gel—Harden, in particular, was slow on the trigger Wednesday night—and the front office will presumably make more moves to supplement the team with additional complementary players, but getting rocked by the worst offensive team in the league? That ain’t it, chief.
“We had breakdowns all over the place,” Nash said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. We know that. […] We’ve got to improve with our communication, improve with getting guys into better condition. We feel positive that we can improve defensively, but it’s got to be a priority for us.”
The sky is by no means falling; there’s plenty of time to correct course. But after watching the Clippers implode last season, all eyes are on Brooklyn to see if history could repeat itself.